This American Life – Live

On Tuesday I went to see the This American Live – Live broadcast at the Daly City Century Theater. It’s the first time I’ve been to one of those theater broadcasts that I think the NYC Ballet (or Opera?) popularized. First of all, I was amazed at the high def video quality. The images of Ira Glass, the audience and producers were sharp and the sound was crisp. Watching Ira Glass also was a treat. The show that they broadcast was on the theme of Returning to the Scene of the Crime, and featured stories loosely based on that topic. Watching radio production happen live gives an interesting perspective of how difficult it actually is and the amount of work that is involved. They’re doing an encore showing May 7th (but not live of course) that I’d highly recommend to any This American Life, radio or podcast fan.

148 Words

NEA Arts Indemnity Program

I ran across then when browsing a web site for an exhibit here in SF: “This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.”

So I looked it up and apparently the National Endowment for the Arts has an indemnity program that was created to allow US museums to pass the liability (e.g. insure) for the collection they have on loan to the US government. If there is a loss, the institution must pay a deductable and the rest of the loss is covered by the government. What a clever idea. It’s a seemingly cheap way for the US government to encourage museum sharing and reduce the cost of the museum insuring the art work.

124 Words

Burma and the Internet

Let’s start with this from the NYT:

Myanmar has just two Internet service providers, and shutting them down was not complicated, said David Mathieson, an expert on Myanmar with Human Rights Watch. Along with the Internet, the junta cut off most telephone access to the outside world. Soldiers on the streets confiscated cameras and video-recording cellphones.

Ouch. These last two weeks, following the news in Burma/Myanmar have shown how powerful the internet can be as a tool for communication and the freedoms of speech that we value. Reading the articles, it’s amazing that mobile phones, blogs, text messaging, and all these modern technologies are being used to help the outside world understand the insanity. But when it’s so easy to cut off, it’s saddening that the voices of the people who live in Burma can be so easily silenced. It also speaks to the fact that we have grown to expect things like connectivity, redundancy, and resilience in our communication systems. When they’re this fragile, we feel exposed and alone. For those in China after the Taiwan earthquake in 2006, you have a good idea how it feels to go from connected to cut off.

Images like these are what we won’t be seeing any more (also from the NYT article): 

212 Words